Euphoria Telecom is South Africa’s leading cloud-based business phone system. With 4500+ happy customers across the country they aren’t just a company selling a product – they are passionate about customer service too. For Euphoria it’s all about creating a positive and empowering experience.
That’s why I am partnering with them to bring you Pitch & Pedal, a new sporting review portal curated and hosted by yours truly. Each month I’ll be bringing you the best golfing, road cycling and mountain biking experiences from across the nation. These will include:
A Golf Course Review
A Cycling Race Feature / Preview
Equipment review – cycling or golf product
A Pitch & Pedal interview with a well known cycling or golfing guest
The 4 features will be posted on the Euphoria website (www.euphoria.co.za)and their social pages, so make sure to follow all of those links.
Euphoria Telecom will also be giving you the chance to win some awesome cycling and golfing prizes. All you have to do to is find the Euphoria Facebook pages and engage with the content I’ll be compiling for them. It’s as simple as that.
With that said, let’s get started with Pitch & Pedal’s inaugural Golf Course Review and what better place to start then with what is undoubtedly one of Johannesburg’s top golfing spots – Royal Johannesburg and Kensington’s East course.
Recently named Africa’s and South Africa’s best course at the 2018 World Golf Awards, Royal Johannesburg and Kensington’s East Course is so much more than just a bucket list golfing destination.
Situated in Linksfield, south east of thriving Sandton, the course is one of two on the club’s property. Upon arrival you get to walk down the champions walkway celebrating the winners of titanic South African Open championships of yesteryear at the venue, to the more recent victors of the Joburg Open on the European Tour.
In late 2017, the prized layout underwent a renovation to the greens and bunker complexes. Along with that other aesthetic improvements were made, which are apparent from the moment you set foot onto the practice area in front of the sprawling clubhouse.
The changes to the course didn’t just improve the quality of the golfing experience, but also enhanced its outright playability. For the professional golfers off the back tees, the course requires a little more thought and strategy for optimum scoring, while for the more everyday golfers, landing areas on the fairways and greens have been enhanced making the holes more memorable.
The 1st hole is a nice gentle par 5 starter, but from there you are faced with a relentless stretch of holes that will challenge your abilities at every turn. It also presents you with one of Royal East’s biggest characteristics. It’s a big course, quite literally. We often enthuse over the big championship courses we see on TV on the PGA Tour, but this course right here is every bit the championship layout that the world’s best do battle on week in, week out.
Though brutish in its opening stretch, a touch of finesse is needed on the par 3 5th hole. A par 3 requiring a short iron to a green falling below the tee, it is however still a tough hole that has a knack of attracting whatever wind may be on the course. The picturesque par 5 6th hole follows this which requires three precise shots to reach it, before you make your way back to the clubhouse with three holes that should allow you a bit of respite on the scorecard.
It is needed too as the start to the back 9 is not for the feint-hearted. The 10th and 11th holes are long and demanding par 4s. Rated stroke 3 and stroke 1 respectively, pars feel like birdies here. Regardless of your scores though, striding up to the par 3 12th hole to look back on these monsters provides one of the course’s most famed photo opportunities.
The difference between good and great courses is often in the variety of quality that they possess. Some courses are beautifully conditioned, but lack impressive scenery, or visa versa. Some may have both those things, but lack character in design. Royal East has all of the above though, and as you work your way deeper into the back 9 this comes to the fore.
Though it can get the better of average golfers, the challenge is an inviting one without any real gimmicks or blind shots. The sound advice of a local caddy is a decent call if it is your first time, but what you see is what you get around this layout. And that is a very good thing.
Naturally you would expect a grand finish to such a course, and in the par 5 18th hole you would be right. Though still a lengthy prospect just shy of 500m from the club tees, it does allow the better golfer a chance to finish with a flourish and go for the green in two should they find the fairway.
It is a daring play that requires a solid hit as a series of treacherous bunkers guard the relatively small green. Overlooked by the clubhouse though, it is the perfect spot to roll in a birdie and look back on a memorable round.
Euphoria Telecoms wants to connect you with sporting experiences that match their world class service. So they are giving you and three golfing friends/colleagues the chance to experience the amazing East course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington*.
Simply ‘Like’ their page on Facebook, and tag three friends in the comments section with the answer to this simple question – In what year did Royal Johannesburg’s layout undergo renovation to its greens and bunkers?
Visit www.facebook.com/euphoriatelecom for more.
*Prize consists of green fees only for 4 people, valid Tuesday to Friday subject to availability. T’s & C’s apply.